The first time I told my husband we were having vegetable soup for supper he asked, “And what else?”
Now, this is his most requested recipe and an easy staple for winter months. I started making it in college when I lived with my brother and it was also a favorite of “the boys” – think D 1-A football players – so this is definitely hearty. A single recipe creates about 10 servings, and since there are only two of us, I typically freeze part of each pot, creating a great 5-minute meal for the future.
Elisabeth’s Hearty Vegetable Soup
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 med. sweet onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1-2 carrots or a handful of baby sized, sliced
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans tomato, okra, corn blend
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can sliced potatoes*
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn
1 8 oz. can lima beans
Salt, pepper and tabasco to taste
*I used to use fresh potatoes diced, which works just as well, until I found this easier version.
**The huge asterisks on this list of vegetables is that you can add anything else you want. For example, if I have leftover black-eyed peas in the fridge, they are going in. Do you really love kidney beans? Add those.
Also, the amounts can be varied, particularly for the trinity (Onion, carrots, celery – so called because these three ingredients serve as the base for many dishes – particularly French. Also called mirepoix. Not to be confused with the cajun trinity which is onion, celery & green pepper. A recipe & a bit of trivia!) Have half an onion instead of a whole? That’s fine. Like carrots more than me? Increase the amount. I use just enough carrots to get by because I don’t like cooked carrots. I’ll pick them out when I’m eating this, but the soup needs them for the flavor.
Back to the recipe.
Brown the ground turkey. Add the trinity and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add all of the tomato related cans. (Add a little water to the sauce can, swish it around to get the goodness off the side & add that.) Drain the other vegetables & add them. Add salt, pepper & tabasco. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer.
The longer the vegetable soup simmers, the better the flavors will meld. This is one of those recipes that gets better the longer it sits, so I’ll often make it on the weekend when I’m cooking something else & we won’t eat it until a day or two later. If you’re making it to eat the same night, let it simmer at least 30 minutes.
Serve this vegetable soup with crackers, bread or corn bread / muffins.
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